- What is the purpose of this program/overview of the swim?
This program is an exploration of the Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot exhibit and an introduction to Georgia Aquarium’s conservation and whale shark research program. Participants will snorkel on the surface of our Ocean Voyager habitat with whale sharks, manta rays and thousands of other fish. This is the only opportunity in the world where you are guaranteed to swim with these animals. A portion of proceeds support the Aquarium’s research and conservation efforts.
Participants will be briefed before their swim, change into their wetsuits, be guided around the habitat during their swim, shower, and then will be given a debriefing session.
- What is the Aquatic Advocates Program?
PLEASE NOTE: This program is currently unavailable at this time.
This add-on is an enhanced, education-focused dive program that will educate and equip participants about the whale sharks or manta rays they will encounter and how they can “advocate” for these amazing animals. Participants will receive an in-depth educational session through a classroom session and a behind-the-seas tour that is centered around the chosen animal distinction. To top it off, participants will be treated to an intentional “face-to-face” interaction during your experience.
The Aquatic Advocate program costs $69.95 (+tax) and can be purchased online at checkout or by calling the Call Center at (404) 581-4000.
- What is the duration of the program and what is included in the experience?
The experience is approximately 2.5 hours, with a tour of the topside of Ocean Voyager and a 30 minute swim. A souvenir photo and a program t-shirt are included. Please plan travel and other Aquarium shows accordingly.
- How big is the Ocean Voyager exhibit and what will I see?
The exhibit contains 6.3 million gallons of water and ranges from 20 to 30 feet deep (6-9 m) with water temperature controlled at 76°F (24°C). This exhibit houses thousands of fish including whale sharks, zebra sharks and several species of rays, just to name a few!
- What are the age requirements?
All swim participants must be ages 12 and older. Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating adult in the water.
There is a maximum of 7 children (ages 12-17) per participating adult. We recommend each minor, or those not comfortable in water, be accompanied by an adult. Guests under the age of 18 must have the program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines signed and dated by their parent or court appointed legal guardian.
- What are the physical limitation of the Swim Program?
We can accommodate wetsuit sizes and equipment sizes for people who weigh between 45 lbs and 320 lbs (20-145 kg). Participants must be able to dress themselves, swim themselves and climb a ladder in and out of the habitat unassisted. Swimmers who may need help dressing themselves must provide their own assistance.
- Can my size be accommodated?
We can accommodate wetsuit and equipment sizes for people between 45 and 320 pounds (20-145 kg). Participants must be able to climb a ladder in and out of the habitat unassisted.
- Are you able to swim with special needs?
Yes, we have designed the locker room and dive platform to meet ADA regulations. Please call to make a reservation and let the reservists know you or someone in your group has specific needs. Someone will reach out to you prior to your visit to review your needs, mobility issues and equipment. Reasonable accommodations will be made if properly informed of any needs.
- Do you offer private changing rooms?
The Aquarium offers two changing rooms, male and female, with open changing area and private shower stalls. We are aware of the limitations this infrastructure presents, and recognize that not all guests conform to a binary system of gender. Our Aquarium team is committed to making accommodations to any guest who requests additional privacy when changing, and will make every effort do so with advance notice. At Georgia Aquarium, both employees and guests are welcome to use the restroom matching their gender identity.
- When should I arrive for my program?
Participants must check-in at the Animal Interaction Desk in front of the Ocean Voyager gallery AT LEAST 30 minutes prior to their event time. We highly recommend you arrive at the Aquarium at least 1 hour prior to allow time for parking, security and check-in.
- What should I bring with me?
You will need to bring your swimsuit. All equipment, comfortable changing rooms with showers, lockers and towels are supplied. Personal masks/snorkels are permitted but must be disinfected by staff prior to swim. Please refrain from wearing jewelry, excessive makeup or hair products.
- Are guests welcome to watch? Do they have to buy a ticket?
Yes, friends and family can watch from the Ocean Voyager tunnel and main window, but they must purchase a General Admission ticket. If staffing allows, guests will be escorted by a volunteer OR directed to where to go for the best opportunity to see the participants. Staff cannot offer care for any children under 12 – they must be accompanied by an adult.
- Can we take our own photos or video?
Cameras are permitted on deck, however no cameras are permitted in the water. A professionally shot and edited video of your experience will be available for purchase. Friends and family may take photos from the tunnel or gallery windows.
- What equipment is included in the Swim Program?
All necessary equipment is included in the price of the Swim Program, including a flotation device, mask, snorkel, gloves, booties and wetsuit. Personal masks and snorkels are permitted but must be disinfected by staff prior to swim.
- Will there be a guide in the water with me?
Three dive masters will be in the water with you at all times. Dive team members are certified in CPR, first aid and in providing emergency oxygen. This is a guided tour.
- Can we touch the animals?
The swim is for observation only – swimmers are not permitted to touch the animals.
- How do I make a reservation?
Register online or call (404) 581-4000. After your reservation is made, a confirmation email will be sent with instructions on how to supply additionally needed information and submit the waivers required. All participants must have the program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines signed and dated prior to participating. Guests under the age of 18 must have the program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines signed and dated by their parent or court appointed legal guardian.
- Do I have to pre-register or can I sign up when I arrive?
Guests are encouraged to pre-register. Spaces are limited to 8 participants per program and walk-ups can only be accommodated if there is space available.
- What times are available for the Swim Program?
The program is offered daily at 4:30 p.m.
- What else can I add-on to my experience?
Participants can purchase professionally shot and edited HD video of their experience, and additional t-shirts, hats and reusable bags can also be purchased on-site.
Guests also have the option to upgrade their experience by enrolling in our brand new “Aquatic Advocates” Program.
- What is the cost of the program?
The Swim Program costs $239.95 plus tax for non-Members and $212.95 plus tax for Annual Pass Members. All equipment for the swim, certificate of participation, t-shirt and a souvenir photo are included. General admission into the Aquarium is NOT included and must be purchased separately.
- What is your rescheduling / date change policy?
Refunds are not offered, but a date may be changed free of charge if the change is made at least 14 days in advance of the original date of your visit. If the change is made less than 14 days prior to the original date, a $50 change fee per ticket will be charged. Cancellations within 48 hours and no-shows will not be refunded or rescheduled. To change your reservation, please contact Georgia Aquarium’s Call Center at (404) 581-4000.
- What is your cancellation/no-show policy?
Cancellations and no-shows will not be refunded or rescheduled. Guests arriving after the required program check-in time will not be permitted to participate in the program and will not be refunded or rescheduled. Please plan accordingly with enough time to park, enter and check-in to the program. To change your reservation, please contact Georgia Aquarium’s Call Center at 404-581-4000. Due to the nature of caring for animals, Georgia Aquarium reserves the right to modify, cancel, and/or reschedule programs without notice. Reasonable accommodations will be made to reschedule guests as effectively as possible.